So once again we have survived.

Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Bubble

Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

I might’ve mentioned before, I like this Steve Soderbergh guy. Number one, he knows what the fuck he’s doing. Number two, he does what the fuck he wants. He’s the epitome of the guy who does smart but crowdpleasing commercial movies (OCEAN’S 11, ERIN BROCKOVICH) then turns around and makes a crazy no budget weird ass movie (SCHIZOPOLIS, FULL FRONTAL). I wish he’d make more badass crime movies like THE LIMEY and OUT OF SIGHT but that’s just me. If I could tell him what to do that would violate number two (see above). A violation like that would probaly ruin the roll he’s on and all the sudden he’d start doing half-assed FINAL DESTINATION sequels or something.

Now that this guy has a best director Oscar (for TRAFFIC), a Criterion Edition (for SCHIZOPOLIS), an outlaw award winner (THE LIMEY) and the all important misunderstood sequel (OCEAN’S 12), he decided there was one thing he was missing: a series of six digitally shot improvisational movies starring non-actors in their real home towns to be released in theaters, on dvd and on cable all at the same time. BUBBLE is the first in this ridiculous experiment and let’s be honest here. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re getting into, you do know what you’re getting into. First motherfucker that watches BUBBLE and complains that it’s not INDIANA JONES gets a knuckle sandwich. This is not designed to entertain the whole world. It’s designed to be the type of movie you shoot quickly with a low budget on hi-def video and release on DVD at the same time as theaters. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Crash (1996)

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

Since I recently watched that movie CRASH that Roger Ebert said was the best movie of 2005, I decided to finally go back and watch the original David Cronenberg version, which in my opinion is pretty fucking different.

This is the courageous story of a movie producer (James Spader) and his wife (Debora Kara Unger from STANDER and PAYBACK and THE GAME) and all the people they like to fuck from behind (various). The movie opens with Ms. Unger in an a hangar rubbing her nipple against an airplane while some dude licks her ass. And you can imagine where it would go from there (perverted car crashes, etc.). Very predictable, standard stuff. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power

Friday, January 27th, 2006

Geez, I shouldn’t have put off seeing this movie so long considering it really is my beat. This is kind of a miracle actually. This is the rare DTV movie that could’ve passed for a low budget theatrical movie. The only thing really holding it back is being a prequel with a different star from the original, which is a real good reason not to release it in theaters. Going straight to video lowers the expectations and makes it only half count as a sequel or prequel, which gives it a better shot at working. And for me it did. Even if you don’t go for it I think you will be awed by its competence. This is definitely a landmark in DTV sequelization.

I love the original CARLITO’S WAY, but I haven’t seen it in years, so that probaly helps. I never knew this but DePalma’s movie was based on the second book in a series. The book was called After Hours, but they didn’t want it confused with the Scorsese movie of the same name so they called it CARLITO’S WAY, after the first book in the series. RISE TO POWER is actually adapted from the book Carlito’s Way, according to legend. (I haven’t read the books so who knows.) (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Match Point

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

MATCH POINT is the new Woody Allen picture. The title refers to tennis but to me it sounds like just some generic name of a place title like GOSFORD PARK or PACIFIC HEIGHTS or LAND OF THE DEAD. If it was up to me it would be called KEEP YOUR DICK IN YOUR PANTS. You know, like, “This winter, director Woody Allen invites you to… Keep Your Dick In Your Pants.”

This is the first Woody Allen movie in a long time that doesn’t seem exactly like every other Woody Allen movie. It takes place in London with a mostly british cast. Jonathan Rhys somebody (a guy from TITUS) plays a guy named Chris. He’s a former pro tennis player who’s kind of a cheapskate, always trying to bum shit off of people. So one day he’s taking advantage of a rich tennis student’s generosity when he falls for the guy’s sister (Emily Mortimer). And then as soon as that’s rolling he falls even harder for the guy’s fiancee (Scarlett Johansen [hubba hubba]). He wants Scarlett bad and tries to make a pass at her but it doesn’t work out. So what the hell, he marries Emily. He gets a good job out of it and her parents pay for him to have a nice apartment and shit. And she wants some babies, now. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Mindhunters

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Some day I gotta come up with a name for this certain style of movie I like, a movie that is really fuckin dumb, but in a good way. It manages to be so spectacular, almost innovative in its level of stupidity that it is what the young people now and in the ’80s called “awesome.” I’m not talking a dumb comedy like HOW HIGH, I’m talking about a movie that as far as anyone knows is supposed to be serious. One really good example is DEEP BLUE SEA, Renny Harlin’s movie about super intelligent sharks. That takes the genre to its highest levels because there are so many things that play with the audience’s expectations that it is undeniably clever, almost brilliant. And at the same time, so fuckin dumb. A movie where a girl has to take her scuba suit off and stand on top of it so as not to get electrocuted. Because of the super intelligent sharks. That’s the best, when it’s so smart and so dumb that you can’t even tell which is which anymore.

Well this is not that good but it is another dumb movie by the same director. I think maybe the pressure of doing a sequel to DIE HARD was too much for Renny Harlin to take, it damaged his brain and he’s been mushy ever since. MINDHUNTERS isn’t as good as DEEP BLUE SEA but it’s worthwhile if you’re into that type of stupid shit, like I am. It has Val Kilmer, Christian Slater and of course DEEP BLUE SEA’s LL Cool J in the cast but it sat on the shelf for a couple years. It actually came out on DVD in Russia a long time before it came out in american theaters. So maybe the Russians could tell me what to call this genre. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Crash (2005)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Unfortunately this is not the pervy Cronenberg movie I’ve never gotten around to seeing about the people getting off on car crashes. This is the race relations movie directed by Paul Haggis, writer of Clint’s MILLION DOLLAR BABY. I gotta be honest, my reason for seeing this was not that I thought I would like it, but that I was just real damn curious. Because it got so many rave reviews, and Roger Ebert chose it as the best of the year, but every single person I knew who had seen it said it was corny, overwrought bullshit.

I hate to be a centrist but I think it falls somewhere in the middle. It seems well intentioned. It’s trying to point out different kinds of subconscious racism, it’s trying to show that people are complicated, racists maybe have a chance of being redeemed, people who don’t think they are racists might end up shooting a black dude, etc. It’s one of those movies where there’s a bunch of different characters tangentally connected by coincidence and you find out as the story unfolds what they have to do with each other, which can be fun. And there’s some good little moments and whatnot. One of the best scenes actually involves a cop trying to save somebody from a flipped car before it blows up. In other words, a scene you can see in every single episode of CHiPs. But this is better directed so it’s pretty intense. Also Tony Danza has a cameo. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hustle & Flow

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

I had a good feeling about this movie from right about the time the title came on the screen. It was a shot of a pimp (Terence Howard) and a ho (Taryn Manning) driving in a car, and it freeze frames to write the title in yellow ’70s style lettering.

I always like Terence Howard but I’ve never seen him in a lead role before. He’s always the supporting role that steals the movie. Here he has a lead role that steals the movie. I haven’t seen GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN but I would be surprised if Terence Howard’s performance in this movie doesn’t run a hundred circles around his co-star in that movie, both as an actor and as a rapper. True, he does mumble alot in this movie (you almost need subtitles) but I still feel his enunciation is better than Fifty Cents. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Munich and Sword of Gideon

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

You know, MUNICH is almost the movie I was hoping SYRIANA would be. SYRIANA has alot to say about the complicated way the world works, but it doesn’t get you excited about it. You’re probaly not gonna be sitting on the edge of your seat. More likely you’ll be scratching your chin saying, “Interesting, interesting.” I’d rather see a movie that can be complex and political without sacrificing in the awesome department. A good balance of substance and badass. And that’s what this is.

Okay so maybe MUNICH isn’t as true to life as SYRIANA (in fact, some people think the real guy it’s based on made up the whole story and never worked for Mossad) but it sure is a more entertaining movie. Eric Bana (winner of the secret, recently declassified 2001 lead badass outlaw award for CHOPPER) plays Avner, a small time Israeli agent personally chosen by the prime minister to lead a team of assassins to kill 11 people believed to be involved in the planning of the massacre of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Park Is Mine

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

I never heard of this one before but the box caught my eye. It’s from ’86 and apparently made for TV. Tommy Lee Jones – after ROLLING THUNDER but before UNDER SIEGE – plays another angry veteran on a rampage. This one though is unusual because he basically inherits this rampage from a deceased friend. I mean can you imagine? A little bit of money, maybe some furniture or something. But inheriting a rampage? That’s rough.

The movie starts out with a guy jumping off a building. Tommy Lee is at the funeral and shortly after receives a letter, and a key, from his dead ‘Nam buddy. In the letter the dead guy explains that he’s been preparing an attack on Central Park for a long time. The key leads to a ridiculous stash of guns, bullets and bombs. There are also maps showing where this guy has already planted explosives around the park. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Brokeback Mountain

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

For God’s sake man, when I go to see a western there are certain things I expect to see, and certain things I don’t expect to see, and one of the things I don’t expect to see–

Nah, I’m just fuckin with you. Everybody knows that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is “the gay cowboy movie.” Or that’s the hype anyway. So first thing’s first, I gotta tell you that the “gay cowboy” description is utter bullshit and if that’s what you wanna see you’re gonna be just as disappointed as I woulda been if I went in expecting THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES. Because this is not about gay cowboys. It’s about gay sheperds. They herd sheep. They shepherd. They are gay shepherds. Get it straight, America. Cowboys are dealing with cows and cattle and whatnot. If they herd sheep, they are shepherds. In this case, gay shepherds. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.